Homework Organization for Elementary Kids: Before and After Pictures!

Homework Organization for Kids: Before and After Pictures!
What differences do you see?

As my daughter began to use more workbooks for homeschooling, we went through trial and error until we optimized her homework organization! Due to limited space in our home, school work usually happens on our dining table. We want to keep the area tidy so that homework isn’t exploding onto our food! I’ll share before and after pictures and explain what failed and worked for us.

Doing homework and online classes in our dining room
Doing homework and online classes in our dining room

As usual, my first tip is to declutter as much as you can in your kid’s homeschool / study room. I hope these additional suggestions can help whether your kids are homeschooling, distance learning, or attending school in-person this year!

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More of our homeschool tour

Homework book baskets

Homework organization failure # 1: the “morning basket”

The first set up that we tried was the popular “morning basket” that I’ve seen a lot of homeschooling families implement. I was inspired by the idea of having everything in one place.

Unfortunately, the basket kept overflowing, and 1 basket turned into 2.

My daughter was often complaining that she couldn’t find her books, and after using them, they would end up in a messy pile or in the wrong basket.

Homework organization failure # 2: magazine file boxes

We are relatively minimalist in dinnerware, so I turned our dining cabinet into a storage cabinet for homeschool books and supplies.

Since I’ve seen several other families use magazine file boxes, I got a few…but I instantly regretted them. The boxes were too large for each subject (I didn’t want to combine subjects), and the lip was an obstacle to grabbing books.

Color coded tape

If you have a larger space where you can put magazine boxes on top of a shelf or large cubbies, I think they would be more accessible and useful.

The other school books kept falling over. Another failure was my attempt to us painter’s tape to color code each subject. The tape wasn’t too visible!

Homework organization solution: vertical desk organizer for the win!

Homework organization
Right side of dining cabinet: top: daily routine chart; wood Chinese Calendar;
top shelf: black vertical organizer; bottom shelf: baskets for art storage

Finally, I found the best solution for my daughter’s school books! This vertical desk organizer was the perfect fit in our cabinet. Each section is 2″ wide and can hold 2 to 4 school books.

I also labeled each section with the subject name which helped tremendously with knowing where to put each book.

Since all of my daughter’s school subjects are taught in English, I wrote Chinese labels to create a print-rich environment in our minority language. These visual prompts remind us to speak Chinese.

Note: Although clean-up is part of our daily routine, I still need to remind my daughter to put away all of her books. But now she knows where to find everything she needs!

Other favorite storage carts

If you have more space in your homeschool room, we really like multi-drawer storage carts! Here’s how we store our bilingual Montessori homeschool materials that are out of rotation.

Left: Side table for our kids’ water/snack/cleaning station (similar here and here); Right: art carts and storage cabinet
Left: Side table for our kids’ water/snack/cleaning station (similar here and here); Right: art carts and storage cabinet

What homework organization look like for your family?

Please share what has worked and what hasn’t in the comments below!

We’d love to learn from your family!

More about our bilingual homeschooling journey

Happy organizing, friends!

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